Ribbons tied to Cathedral fence after of Royal Commission hearing

loud fences

Last week ribbons were tied to the fence of the St Patrick’s Cathedral in downtown Auckland by attendees and witnesses from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the care of Faith-based Institutions.

Survivors and supporters walked there from the Rydges Hotel, where the Royal Commission was holding the final day of its first public hearing.

The dean of the cathedral, Father Peter Tipene also tied a ribbon to the fence.
He said it was in support of the victims.

“We have to acknowledge the wrong that we have done and we hope for healing and for grace and peace for all the victims,” Tipene said.

“We continue to pray for the perpetrators too, but again there is a lot of hurting and healing to take place.

Mike Ledingham a man who was abused as a child by a Catholic priest said he was tying the ribbons of the fence a for a number of nameless victims still suffering from the effects of abuse.

Ledingham said it was significant to tie the ribbons to the church fence because the Catholic Church had not paid enough attention to what had happened.

“More like trying to hide it and distance themselves from it all,” he said.

“After 60 years I have come to grips with the memory and as long as there are victims alive this church is responsible and I think they need to wake up, become honest and start dealing with it appropriately.”

The practice of tying ribbons to church fences has become known as the Loud Fence movement.

In a letter published earlier this year, Cardinal John Dew said the New Zealand bishops supported survivors who want to place ribbons at church gates or fences and create Loud Fences “as part of a valid and important way to work through the healing process”.

The movement started in Ballarat in Australia in 2015.

Since then Loud Fence initiatives have appeared around the world with ribbons tied on Westminster Abbey in London, Bali, China and across Australia.


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News category: New Zealand.